Tuesday, April 24, 2012

All Alone in the Universe

All Alone in the Universe  by Lynne Rae Perkins
Weight: 3 oz
Method of Disposal: Leaving somewhere

I have no idea where this book came from.  I never read it as a young adult.  The pages have yellowed and given it the look of a much older book.  I picked it off the shelves this morning and read/finished it while in the bath tub.  I thought it was a pretty good book for a child or maybe a young teenager.  It does not offer the magic adults can get wrapped up in like many children books, but the value of it is clear.

It is about a girl whose closest friend develops a relationship with another girl and the slow fade of their own friendship, which is extremely painful for her.  This seems like something we all go through when we are young, and I am sure some of us go through as adults.  It is particularly pertinent when you are young though.  Like your first love, it is hard to believe that you could care about someone as much as your best friend ever again and yet you do, repeatedly, throughout your life.  There are friends you keep forever, but as an adult you recognize the dynamic must change as you grow.  I suppose that is how you can maintain relationships in a way you might not have been able to as a younger person.  

I remember my best friend Amanda across the street.  I also remember when I met Noelle , years later, down the road.  The drama that ensued around the triad is only something youth can create.  I am still close friends with Noelle all these decades later, and Amanda and I still write each other letters and sometimes send packages.   Oddly enough, Amanda grew up to be remarkably similar and Noelle and I are incredibly different.   It was not until  much much later I realized that they were never very close to each other, though I loved them both.  They both had to tell me.

The author in this book has found a way to tap into youthful feelings and fears, while also offering valuable ways of coping without being over the top and recognizing that just telling someone not be jealous is not a productive way of dealing with jealousy.  I could recognize young me in almost every young character, and I could recognize my young friends too.  Good job, Lynne Rae Perkins.

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